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Summerside's Fire History

In the Beginning…

The Summerside Fire Department was organized in 1863… before Summerside was actually considered a town. In those days, households were primarily heated with fireplaces, and each home had a fire bucket inside.

In the event of a fire emergency, residents would respond by forming a volunteer bucket brigade. This was before the organization of any city council; there were fire wardens and fire assessors in place, who were tasked with assessing the village’s ability to fight fires.

In 1879, a devastating fire in the midst of winter ripped through Summerside, causing $30,000 worth of damage, only $6,000 of which was insured. Then, in the early 1880s, another fire destroyed an entire block of buildings on Central Street. The 1883 Steam Pumper still in the Fire Department’s possession today was likely acquired as a result of those incidents.

A complete history of the Summerside Fire Department can be found at the MacNaught History Centre.

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